A Connecticut man has been charged with threatening the life of Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), the House Intelligence Committee chairman who played a key role in impeachment proceedings against President Trump, the Justice Department announced Monday.
Robert M. Phelps, 62, was arrested on Friday and released on $25,000 bond.
The FBI alleged in an affidavit that Phelps on Nov. 12 sent threats in a meeting request to Schiff through the lawmaker’s official website.
“I want to come and see you so I can spit in your face and I want to kill you with my bare hands and smash your sick little round fat lying face in,” the person who sent the meeting request, allegedly Phelps, told Schiff, according to the affidavit.
The request was signed: “Robert M. Phelps Republican.” The request included an email address for Schiff to reach Phelps.
The Justice Department subpoenaed the internet service provider associated with that email address and confirmed Phelps’ identity. FBI agents interviewed Phelps on Dec. 4 at his home in Torrington, Conn., the affidavit said.
Phelps admitted he sent the email but did not see it as threatening, the FBI wrote in the affidavit.
Phelps asserted to the agents he had the right to contact members of Congress and to defend “his president,” the affidavit said. He urged the FBI to investigate Democrats pushing to impeach Trump.
Phelps could face up to 10 years in prison for threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official. He could not be reached. A spokesman for Schiff declined to comment.